Part two of adventures in Singapore with Shamis led Jesca and I to Haw Par Villa, a place that both of us had not visited since childhood. We talked about it a while back with some of Nano’s friends when they visited, but missed the opportunity due to the monsoon rains. This time, the skies cleared enough for us to go when Shamis visited! It was everything we hoped for and more.
Colourful animals in a state of feral anger were abundant:
Just one of the many statues depicting scenes from Journey to the West, this beauty is Tripitaka’s magical white horse, a dragon prince of the sea who was punished for devouring the original white horse and given a second chance to redeem himself through this transformation.
Buddhist statues are pretty prevalent in the park as well:
Beautiful structures at a hidden-away pond:
We saved the best for last, the Ten Courts of Hell (十八晨地狱). Yea it says eighteen in Mandarin, but what the hey. This was one of my most vivid memories of Haw Par Villa. It was a boat ride back in the day, and I remember being so terrified that I buried my head in Mum’s lap throughout. Jesca also went to Haw Par Villa as a kid, but she’s seven years my junior and apparently the boat ride was replaced by a walking tour by the time she went.
Before entering the cave, there’s an inscription about karmic retribution, which basically says that good deeds will be rewarded with good, while bad deeds will be repaid alike. However, retribution will not be immediate.
This is the fifth level of hell, reserved for crimes in which one plotted a murder of another for their property and money, and for money lenders with exorbitant interest rates. These people would then be thrown onto a hill with knives. Ouch! It’s one of my favourite scenes because of its absurdity.
We had to take some pictures before we left for lunch:
She also helped me to take my outfit of the day:
We had to get some genuine local cuisine into Shamis, the chilli crab! Jumbo Seafood Restaurant at The Riverwalk was the place to go. It was an unfortunate coincidence that the three of us wore white on the day that red chilli would potentially be splattering all over us.
We went to the Merlion for Shamis’ last stop for Singapore:
Hope to see you again, Shamis!!
Outfit photos assisted by Jesca.